How to manage a responsible in-store finance offer

  • News
  • October 12, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
How to manage a responsible in-store finance offer

In-store finance can be a great source of business-boosting cash and a point of contact to improve customer loyalty, but serious consequences await those who don’t comply with regulations. We consider what retailers need to know about store finance.

The benefits to a retailer in offering a finance programme are numerous, says Joel Jeevaratnam, national sales director for Gem powered by Latitude. Gem powered by Latitude works with a number of prominent New Zealand retailers such as Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming and Freedom to offer store finance. 

A finance programme can act as the “catalyst” to a sale by offering the customer another way to pay, Jeevaratnam says: “Is there a portion of your product line that’s not shifting due to cost?”

Customers often enter a store with a budget in mind that’s based on their savings or the limit on their credit card, having done online research and developed a preconceived idea of what they’re going to buy. For example, Jeevaratnam says, a customer wanting to upgrade their kitchen appliances may potentially only walk away with a microwave oven, but dream of one day buying a new fridge and oven as well.

 If the retailer can offer that customer an attractive deal using in-store finance, Jeevaratnam says, the customer may agree to “realise their dream” right there and then, instead of saving up over six months for the additional items.

However, there’s a fine line between upselling and pressuring the customer into overcommitting, and Jeevaratnam says it’s important that the customer be made aware of their obligations. Gem powered by Latitude carries out credit checks and risk assessments to be certain loans are appropriate and relevant for the customer.

Finance programmes also represent a way for the retailer to forge a deeper connection with the customer and create greater loyalty.

“Instead of that sale being quite transactional, finance provides an opportunity for it to be more personalised,” Jeevaratnam says. “If we don’t know much about a business, the sale will be transactional and cost-driven, but if we know more, [it’s individual.]”

Southland department store chain H&J Smith runs its H&J Smith Charge Card in-house, and H&J Smith managing director Jason Smith says it represents a “special relationship” between the customer and the store. The company keeps the channels of communication open with its cardholders, inviting them to exclusive events seven times per year.

These relationships are so long-term and significant, Smith says, that in many cases they’re multi-generational.

“We look to engage the customer as early as possible to ensure we treat them appropriately in-store, as they frequent our stores often, and we see them as an essential part of our ‘raving fans’ – something every retail business needs to thrive.”

In his time in the market, Jeevaratnam says he’s seen a shift in perceptions around in-store finance programmes. It used to be that in-store finance was considered to be a service primarily used by shoppers who would have struggled to pay for their items traditionally, but now, he says interest-free loans mean the programmes are used by shoppers of all levels of financial capability to manage their cashflow in much the same way a business would. 

“Customers are very savvy these days.”

A good finance provider should act in partnership with the vendor, says Jeevaratnam. It should express this approach by providing adequate support and training so that the retailer can discharge their responsible lending obligations on behalf of the lender. 

Retailers should do due diligence on any prospective finance provider, says Jeevaratnam, but Gem powered by Latitude itself undertakes a rigorous and thorough due diligence on new merchants. This can include looking at their products, financial considerations and management, along with other relevant matters to ensure the company is comfortable that the merchant is able to offer its products in a way that’s compliant with the law.

At Gem powered by Latitude, the finance team provides its merchants with full training for all staff, including annual refreshers, and provides onboarding for each new staff member. It also offers a merchant support team, an online merchant portal with resources and business development managers on hand.

Five Days of Finance is sponsored by Gem powered by Latitude.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Part five: NZ Retail celebrates its 70th anniversary

NZ Retail started life on February 20, 1948 as The Retailer of N.Z. As it is today, it was the official publication of the NZ ...


Harness business confidence with the NZ Retail and Latitude Financial Service breakfast event

  • In Association with Latitude Financial Services
  • February 21, 2019
Harness business confidence with the NZ Retail and Latitude Financial Service breakfast event

Increasing sale size is a constant thought on the minds of all retailers, unanswered questions can lead to uncertainty and lack of confidence in your selling. NZ Retail magazine and the Register alongside Latitude Financial Services have all your retail marketing questions answered in a not-to-be-missed breakfast event, covering sales, to creative strategy and increasing basket size.

Read more

Diversity and inclusion in action: Why Spark gets behind the Pride community

  • Opinion
  • February 21, 2019
  • Sarah Williams
Diversity and inclusion in action: Why Spark gets behind the Pride community

One of Aotearoa's biggest companies, Spark, is a firm supporter of the LGBTQI+ community through its annual Pride advertising campaigns, its partnership with charity OUTline, and its diversity and inclusion values within the company. Head of brand at Spark New Zealand Sarah Williams explains why the company chose to champion this social issue, how these campaigns attract both the loudest praise and the greatest vilification from New Zealanders, and why that it makes it the most important cause the company champions.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Is your website ready for voice search in 2019?

  • Opinion
  • February 21, 2019
  • Amanda Gross
Is your website ready for voice search in 2019?

Looking for answers online has never been so... audible. With the rise of smart speakers and booming popularity of virtual assistants, online searches are increasingly spoken aloud. It’s a trend that’s changing the nature of search – and redefining Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Digital marketing agency's managing editor Amanda Gross answers your burning questions about what’s happening in the world of voice search, and provide answers about how your business and website needs to adapt in our increasingly vocal world.

Read more

Ecoware gets new general manager, Grant Robinson

  • Who's Where
  • February 20, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Ecoware gets new general manager, Grant Robinson

Grant Robinson has made a big change from his position in a senior management role at Westpac, moving now to take the helm as general manager for fast-growing SME, Ecoware.

Read more

Part four: NZ Retail celebrates its 70th anniversary

NZ Retail started life on February 20, 1948 as The Retailer of N.Z. As it is today, it was the official publication of the NZ ...

Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit